Legal experts maintained that police officers cannot enter one’s private property as reports of an altercation between a police officer and a male resident in gated Dasmariñas Village in Makati City took place amid the enhanced community quarantine.
Makati police officer Roland Madrona attempted to arrest Javier Parra after the latter’s househelp, Cherelyn, was spotted without face mask while she watered plants in Parra’s property.
Reports said that Cherelyn went back inside the house then Parra confronted Madrona, who argued that the sanction was unnecessary since it occurred within a private property.
A video of the altercation surfaced on social media which has since gone viral on Monday morning.
Based on the video that was sent to Philstar.com, Parra’s wife pleaded with the police officer while the latter attempted to hold Parra to the ground. It happened outside the house but it happened within residential property of the Parras.
The police officer managed to hold Parra down with an arm drag but did not cuff him.
Parra’s wife also begged Madrona to stop because Parra has a severe back injury, which the latter confirmed in a statement.
“I also suffer of a spinal injury which causes me immense pain in my lower back and legs. Having been thrown on the floor and brutalized and attempted to be illegally arrested, has caused me immense physical pain,” Parra said.
Dasmariñas barangay captain Rosanna Hwang defended Madrona and said that Parra was in a sidewalk when parts of the altercation happened, which she said is a “public place.”
She added that Madrona initially approached Parra in an “unfazed and cool manner” as he “tried to explain that he was reminding them to follow the law.”
A statement released by Brgy. Dasmariñas to Philstar.com revealed that the police officer “was not fining anyone” but only “reprimanding” Parra.
Makati City previously released a city ordinance requiring its “residents, workers, and all other persons in the city” to wear face masks “while outdoors or in public places” amid the state of public health emergency imposed in the Philippines.
Is arrest within a private property legal?
The incident caught the attention of some law experts who shared their take on the matter as parts of the altercation occurred in a residential property.
Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that a driveway, which was where Parra was held on the ground by Madrona, is also “considered private property.”
“Police can’t just enter, without a court order,” he said in an interview.
Human rights lawyer Rosselle Tugade also said that the Revised Penal Code (RPC) punishes “violation of domicile” which pertains to the entering of a public officer or employee in private property without a search warrant and is “against the will of the owner.”